Continuing with the Olive Grove studies. I'm using a 0.5 mm Uniball, which is just your ordinary pen from the drug store. I've been using it since art school days - it's just a really reliable basic tool.
There is an old tractor with flat tires that looks like it's been retired a long, long time. Looks like it's slowly sinking into the ground, slowly becoming a part of the earth that it worked on. Next to it is an old sprayer, but I really couldn't tell you what it does. In fact I only know it's a sprayer because Chris told me so. For someone like me who's not familiar with the ranch life, it could be anything...and that's why I have to study these things before I dive into a big painting as though I understood what I was painting. If I hope to pull this off with some authority, I need better understanding of this stuff.
When I'm painting, I don't always "work the forms". Especially landscape paintings which affords many opportunities for abstraction, I tend to approach them in a more impressionist manner. (My high school Humanities teacher insisted that "impressionistic" is not a word. I don't agree or disagree. but she may be reading this - she'd be about 24o yrs old if she is)
However, drawing with a linear tool, I am noticing that the way the olive branches grow, there is frequently an interesting contraposto occuring where two cylindrical forms are side by side. We often hear of contraposto in figure drawing classes, and it usually means that the model is standing with a twist in the torso. Contraposto means a lot more than that, though. Anytime two forms are juxtaposed and one form is going in one direction and the other in another direction, we have contraposto. Posture-counterposture. It's an important device in figure drawing, to create tension and interest, complexity and gesture. It's one of the things I emphasized a lot when I was teaching figure drawing, and though I wasn't looking for it in these sketches, it jumped out at me. Consequently, my trees in the painting will likely have a slightly more leaning toward form drawing in the branches.